Compared to today’s airlines, whether its the ones that flaunt luxury or the low-cost ones that tout the lowest fare, what will typical airlines be like in the years to come ? Jean-Louis Baroux, an air transport specialist, is categorical in his answer to that question. In the future, traditional airlines who offer a standard package are going to have hard choices to make if they want to survive.
For Jean-Louis Baroux, founder and president of APG World Connect, "airlines are going to have to choose between luxury or low-cost. Up until now, air transport has been built on the medium class range, then there are customers that don’t have a lot of money and need the low-cost option, or the ones that have plenty of money and who want luxury. So whoever isn’t in those segments will lose out. There’s no room for a medium range product at expensive prices anymore. Traditional European airlines are being forced to choose. Whether its Lufthansa, British Airways or even Air France, they are all preparing their low-cost offer all the while investing in their luxury offer. It’s clear that the medium range will have less and less market share."
So air transport may soon only be a choice between two options. The glitter and caviar à la Gulf airlines on the one hand and a humble seat and paying for a sandwich on the other. This vision is somewhat tempered, however, because according to Jean Louis Baroux, only the largest traditional airlines worldwide are affected by this. There are about 100 of them out of 900 in the world market today.
This very broad topic will be debated during the APG World Connect conference that is held yearly and gathers the main players of the air transport industry. It will be held in Monaco between the 2ndand the 4th November 2016.